Branson recovers from tornado, loss of stars
BRANSON, Mo. (AP) - Branson officials say they are cautiously optimistic about this year's tourist season even though the city continues to recover from a 2012 tornado and the loss of two of its biggest stars.
Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson says the city is projecting sales tax revenue to be about the same as in 2012, when sales tax revenue was down less than 1 percent from 2011.
The Springfield News-Leader reports (http://sgfnow.co/16JE94Y ) one change this year will be the absence of Andy Williams, who died in September, and comedian Yakov Smirnoff, who returned to the tour circuit.
On the positive side: The amount of new construction in Branson dropped every year from 2007 to 2011. But the city's new construction value was $69.8 million in 2012, partially due to tornado recovery.